Trace Adkins Defends Jason Aldean, Morgan Wallen Against “Grievance Junkies”

Club Random Podcast / YouTube

Award-winning country music artist Trace Adkins recently sat down with comedian Bill Maher for an episode of the Club Random Podcast. The dialogue felt more like a casual conversation between friends rather than an interview, and covered a wide range of topics: from his smoking habit and past struggles with drinking, to his fondness of “crooner songs,” to current events and social issues. 

The Louisiana native is no stranger to sharing his perspective, as evidenced by his 2007 book A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck. During the conversation with Maher, the topic of cancel culture is raised. Specifically, the pair discuss the controversy surrounding fellow country music artists Jason Aldean and Morgan Wallen in recent years. 

Trace Adkins shares his thoughts on critics trying to cancel Jason Aldean and Morgan Wallen.  

In the podcast episode, Adkins and Maher recall the uproar surrounding Jason Aldean’s controversial song “Try That In A Small Town.” Aldean, who once toured with Adkins, released the music video for the single in July 2023 and received immediate backlash once viewers pointed out that the filming location, the Maury County Courthouse, was the site of numerous incidents of racial violence. Critics have accused the song of promoting gun violence and racism, some going so far as to call the song a “modern lynching song.” 

Maher observes that Aldean likely didn’t know the history of the music video location. Adkins agrees, adding: 

“​​He had no idea, man. Do you know how many music videos I’ve done that I’ve called up the director and went, ‘Hey, man, now what about this location where we’re shooting this thing?’ And if I did do that, it’s only because I didn’t know where I was going. He [Aldean] had no idea. That director picked that location because it had the look they wanted. It was just a small-town courthouse, that’s all it was. And it happened to be close.”

Trace Adkins says “grievance junkies” attempt to cancel people but end up having the opposite effect. 

Continuing the conversation, Adkins and Maher discuss Morgan Wallen who found himself in hot water in early 2021, after a neighbor sent a video to TMZ of Wallen using a racial slur while being dropped off at his Nashville home after a night on the town. Response from the industry was severe – radio stations pulled his music from their rotation, awards shows deemed him ineligible, he was dropped by his booking agency, and his label suspended him. 

Adkins points out that despite the controversy, Wallen went on to sell out arenas of “55,000-plus tickets each night.”

God…cancel me,” he joked. Adkins’ opinion is that it is “all so silly,” clarifying:

“The grievance junkies turn on somebody and they try to cancel them, and all it’s going to do, he’s going to sell more records than he ever has and it’s going to make him bigger than he’s ever been.” 

Trace Adkins defends Jason Aldean and Morgan Wallen.

Before shifting the conversation away from cancel culture, Maher expresses that he really does not think that “these people” are racist. Adkins agrees from his personal experience with both of the singers in question: 

“I’ve been around both of those guys. They’re good guys. There’s no… they’re not racist.”

Watch the conversation between Trace Adkins and Bill Maher on the Club Random Podcast below.

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